Last November I wrote Chasing Value: Apple's Great, but This Stock Is Better!
with the audacity to state "...the potential to beat Apple's prospects by 33 to 1 -- now that is amazing!"
Yes you read that correctly.
I still believe a dollar invested in EZCorp (EZPW
) will earn 33 times that of a dollar invested in America's sweetheart Apple Inc (AAPL
Of course anyone can make any proclamations that they want.
Few dare as I have to post the results when they are not favorable as I have over the past five years.
Today however, I will not be swallowing my pride as EZCorp, a leading pawn shop and cash advance company, has indeed out performed the tremendously successful Apple since the original story. It is worth mentioning to those that would point to Apple's ten-year run that EZPW was the better stock over the long haul as well.
Continue reading Chasing Value: EZcorp Still Besting Apple
There have been many lessons to learn from the "Great Recession." But while the message is often clear, we can't always muster the courage, discipline or consensus to act on these lessons.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is about to enter its second season -- the playoffs. And for a Laker fan in Los Angeles, there is much to look forward to. However, the current NBA collective bargaining agreement will end and we will have to witness another battle between the billionaires and the millionaires.
Why can't the NBA learn from other businesses that have successfully maneuvered through economic turmoil to achieve profitability?
Continue reading Chasing Value: The NBA Should Learn from Others
It should surprise no one that oil stocks have taken the lead in the first quarter, while financial stocks -- after a good two-year run -- have been tamed. This is how things have shaped up through the first quarter for my 2011 stock picks. (For a look at my original picks, see here: part 1, part 2,
and part 3
Normally, if I said a business was underwater, investors would think the worst. Actually, in the summer Noble Corp (NE
) was underwater -- and investors were not impressed. However, this was a great buying opportunity, and although the company is still underwater, it is also a market leader among my stock picks and the overall market -- even among oil industry players. With its fleet of 69 offshore drilling rigs, Noble stands tall.
Continue reading Chasing Value: 2011 Stock Picks Q1 Review -- A Platform for Success
The debate continues about whether SiriusXM (SIR
I) satellite radio will be dominant, dominated or dismissed.
A few years ago, in 2007, prior to the economic meltdown, Sirius was having a meltdown of its very own. Trading between $6 and $8 a share for most of 2005, it slid from $6 a share to $4 a share in 2006. By 2007 it was trading in a much tighter range between 3.50 - $4.00 and there were those that thought it might be a good buying opportunity.
This question was posed to me by friends that owned the stock and were considering buying more. I suggested they run. History shows that to be a good call. However, many investors, or at least traders that follow the stock made good money after the collapse picking up shares for pennies. I was not one of them, so props to those that jumped in -- I was making similar moves elsewhere.
Continue reading Chasing Value: Some Very Sirius Numbers
The other shoe hit the fan Wednesday when Newcastle Investments (NCT), one of my up-and-down picks for the year announced the pricing for a 15 million common share stock offering -- six bucks! -- considerably lower than the 52-week high of $8.85 the stock reached last month.
NCT closed Wednesday March 23 at $6.02.
In making this move, management seeks to raise $85.6million for future investments and operations. This is the management that guided the company back from the grave. I know, since I bought in at 60 cents. But with 62 million shares outstanding, the 25% dilution is a huge move. What are they thinking?
Continue reading Chasing Value: Newcastle Shares Drop to Offering Level
Sometimes I am so confounded by my fellow investors that I have a hard time finding somewhere to do a reality check, so I throw myself on the mercy of the blogosphere today. I do this because I have found no solace by making inquiries with brokers, analysts, traders, friends, family, and fellow investors large and small.
For almost three years I have been touting a EZCorp (EZPW
) stock that just keeps rising, and I believe is still under valued. Way undervalued. Before I continue let me make it clear I own the stock personally and in my investment company's portfolio -- still eating my own cooking.
The initial shares have a cost basis of $11.80. EZPW opened at $29.20 today and is trading higher.
Yesterday EZCorp announced the acquisition of a majority interest in it's Australian partner: EZCORP to Form Global Strategic Alliance With Cash Converters
. This expands the global reach of both businesses, increases the range of services, and should also improve efficiency in a broad number of areas.
Continue reading Chasing Value: EZCorp Still a Bargain
Do you have any interest in insurance companies amidst the turmoil, disaster and current crises in Japan? A crises that followed so closely on the heals of the destruction of the New Zealand city of ChristChurch by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. Perhaps you think this is even a poorer idea than catching that proverbial falling knife we are always hearing about when stock prices are collapsing.
Certainly there will be billions of dollars in claims. On the other hand, perhaps the burden will be spread around the globe to reinsurer's such that none is struck too hard and this is a buying opportunity. After all, when the dust settles, insurers will cry for mercy, and in particular, rate increases. It is also likely those that never saw the need for insurance have been awakened and demand will increase.
Continue reading Chasing Value: Insurance Stock Review -- Part 2
Ten weeks into the year and never a dull moment. Pondering the remaining 42 weeks and beyond, where will value be found? We know that "my pal Warren" is on the prowl waist high in Berkshire Hathaway cash to invest, and he is on record as chomping on the bit to do so. Just this morning it was reported that Buffett had closed a $9 billion deal to buy
Lubrizol Corp. (LZ
), the Wickliffe, Ohio-based maker of engine lubricants.
More evidence of this abounds: Wednesday March 2, (Reuters) - US-based Berkshire Hathaway aims to enter the Indian insurance sector as a corporate agent of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.
This is part 1 of a series examining the insurance market for expansion, stock valuations, potential risks and opportunities, excluding health care focused companies, a whole other breed of enterprise.
Continue reading Chasing Value: Insured Profits or a Mountain of Risk?
Back in the summer of 2010 when the market was down, the gulf was full of spewing oil and investors were running away from bad news stocks shocked most notably by BP (BP
) oil spill, I decided to post a contrarian story
reminding readers that the fear was overblown and created a buying opportunity.
"My pal Warren" has said for years that we should buy on fear and sell on greed. The toxic stock portfolio was a result of this sentiment.
This is the fourth update to my ranting eight months ago that acquiring six of the most hated, and most highly traded stocks with constant negative headlines would outperform the overall market. The theory has born fruit as the toxic stocks are ahead and the difference is increasing over time.
Continue reading Chasing Value: Toxic Stock Update #4 -- BAC, BP, C, GE, GS, RIG
When dealing with large companies, have you ever felt you were living through a scene from a Seinfeld episode?
In January Wells Fargo (WFC) completed a majority of its integration with Wachovia, and I fear it will take years working out the bugs in the system. I say this because I am a major client, shareholder and trader dealing with the company on numerous levels, and the past few weeks would be comedic if not so infuriating.
Continue reading Chasing Value: Wells Fargo, a Seinfeld Episode?
There is a very small (micro-cap) insurance company in Florida called Homeowners Choice, Inc. (HCII
) that I included among my stock picks
for 2011. My suggestion was made with some reservations, not because of it's growth potential, but because I was concerned that the write-up itself might impact the stock.
Yesterday, March 8, HCII reported it's 13th straight quarter of profitability with Q4 earnings of 27 cents per share versus anticipated earnings of 14 cents.
At the time of the initial post HCII was $8.08. It was $8.50 at today's opening and has been hovering around that mark most of the trading day. That equates to a 5.19% gain in 9 weeks (30% annualized).
Continue reading Chasing Value: Homeowners Choice Earnings, Another Great Quarter
This morning before the market opened, Newcastle Investments (NCT), one of my 2011 stock picks (see Chasing Value: 2011 Picks Dust the S&P) reported earnings that stomped all over analysts estimates. The company reported that in the fourth quarter of 2010, income applicable to common stockholders ("GAAP income") was $197 million, or $3.18 per diluted share, compared to $17 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2009.
For the full year 2010, GAAP income was $657 million, or $10.96 per diluted share, compared to a loss applicable to common stockholders ("GAAP loss") of $223 million, or $4.23 per diluted share, in 2009.
Continue reading Chasing Value: Newcastle Earnings Shatter Estimates
In considering my 2011 picks
I took a look at Boeing Co (BA
), interested by the story. There are many ways for this company's future to play out in a very positive scenario.
The airline industry has been rejuvenated as of late -- and that is good news for aircraft manufacturers. The Republicans won the house majority and that usually improves the fortunes of defense contractors.
The 787 Dreamliner, now three years and counting behind schedule, is in test flight mode. The plane portrayed as a dream to travelers and airline companies has turned into a nightmare of sorts, or at least the dream has changed. Boeing is dreaming of the day they start manufacturing and selling and profiting from all their labor.
Continue reading Chasing Value: Looked at Boeing, Then Looked Away
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